The Lighthouse Project is a new family-violence and risk screening initiative that will run in both the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court for parenting matters. The legislative framework is provided by the recent Family Law Amendment (Risk Screening Protections) Act 2020.
The project will be initially available in the Adelaide, Brisbane and Parramatta registries of the courts. It is scheduled to commence before the end of 2020.
The Lighthouse Project includes:
- early risk screening through a secure online platform;
- early identification and management of safety concerns; and
- assessment and triage of cases by a specialised team, who will provide resources and safe and suitable case management.
All cases identified as high-risk following the screening process will be referred to a dedicated list in the court. The specialist list will be known as the Evatt List. This will be a judge-managed list which will focus on early information gathering and intervention through a judge-led, dedicated support team in appropriate cases.
Both courts have a dedicated page on their websites with information about the Lighthouse Project.
The By Lawyers Family Law Children publication has been updated accordingly. Information on The Lighthouse Project has been included under Pre-Action procedures in the full commentary and on the matter plan. Practitioners are also reminded of the related information on family violence and cross-examination of parties, in the Going to court folders.